Hello Sailors!

If you haven’t heard the exciting news about SMOA let me tell you.  In January one of our board members, Elaine Keating made a matching donation of $1,000,000.  In other words, if you donated $1 it turned into $2.  It took only 6 weeks for the community to come up with that match!  We have now raised $20,224,925 toward the $22,000,000 goal.  Then the unimaginable happened – an anonymous donor at Gulf Coast Community Foundation gave a challenge pledge of $1,000,000.  His/her challenge is for the community to get the project to $21,000,000 by May 31st and last $1 million will come from him/her.  What this means is we need only $775,075 to complete the campaign.
This is where the alumni come in...


We have a new logo to draw attention to the auditorium:
I wanted to find a way to get this logo out around town.  And to paraphrase Henny Youngman, “I know a good idea when I steal one,” If you send a donation, you get a gift.  No, I’m not re-creating the public television rant (well maybe a little, it does work).  The good news is you don’t have my ugly mug on your TV making you feel guilty; it’s just a nice email that can be deleted if you’re not interested.

Take a look below and see what you like.  Shirts are available in all sizes and the umbrella, caps, bags and pens are one-size-fits-all.

Now all of you who have already donated don’t have to worry.  You will get the appropriate gift. We’re expecting fulfillment to be 3-5 weeks. 

To reserve your gift click here to complete the order form and return it to me either by email or by mailing it directly to me at the address below.  I look forward to seeing all of you proudly showing off your SHS Alumni Auditorium products. As always, drop me a line and let me know what you think – tlkoski@yahoo.com – I hope you are all doing well! And, I know with your participation we can make the Alumni Auditorium a reality!

Tom Koski – Class of 1978
SMOA – Alumni Auditorium Chair 
Here is what’s available:
$250 - Whisper Pique Polo Shirt
$250 - Large Umbrella
$150 - Berkshire Tote Bag
$100 - Cap
$75 - Tee Shirt
$500 - Pick any three

$$1,000 - gets everything plus a Special Gift

Hello Sailors!
I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  I continue to be in awe of the generosity of our fellow alumni!  Since I last reached out we have raised an additional $20,000, and the classes represented continue to grow.  We have heard from classes in the 50’s as well as the 80s!  We had over 35 donations in December alone!
A big, “THANK YOU!” to everyone who is participating.  Remember, no gift is too small (or too big, either).  We’re tallying up the numbers and will give class totals in my next email.

We are still looking for individuals willing to be the conduit with classes.  If you are interested please contact me directly at tlkoski@yahoo.com.

Remember installation artist Lisa Hoke will be here from January 15th through February 4th at our historic building.  It will be a fascinating display of turning one man’s trash into another man’s treasure.
A great way to spread the word about what is happening is through your reunions.  Last year we hosted several classes at the building and gave private tours.  This offer is open to everybody – just let me know.
Thank you to everyone who is supporting our project.  We are making progress and we need to keep our momentum so we can one day enjoy the pride of seeing the SHS ALUMNI AUDITORIUM!
Tom Koski, SHS Class of 1978
SMOA Board Member & Alumni Auditorium Chair
tlkoski@yahoo.com – 941-927-2621
Visiting artist Lisa Hoke at work on her ARTmuse installation at SMOA (Photo Rich Schineller)
Visiting artist Lisa Hoke at work on her ARTmuse installation at SMOA (Photo Rich Schineller)
LOTS of new to report! Take a pile of cardboard, build a work of art... Lisa Hoke has begun her fabulous installation at SMOA! Check out the YouTube link below to watch her describe the process:
And further  news from the Susan Rife, Arts & Books Editor for Sarasota Herald Tribune reporting on the SMOA project:
Light My Fire, 2006, Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, TX
Light My Fire, 2006, Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, TX
January 15 - Febuary 4, 2014
Installation artist Lisa Hoke will be at SMOA!
More info coming soon about this artist who turns trash into treasure! 
Grand Prize winner, Ricky Perrone (Amateur) |
Grand Prize winner, Ricky Perrone (Amateur) |
Congratulations to the Winners of our Sticks and Clicks Competition!

From January 7 – 26, 2013, professional and amateur photographers of all ages were invited to visit the historic Sarasota High School site to capture images of the artist at work. We received 462 entries to the Sticks and Clicks Competition and were amazed by the variety and creativity in the submissions received by the Ringling College of Art and Design.  Click here to see all the winners:
Sculptor Patrick Dougherty  Photo provided by Ringling College
Sculptor Patrick Dougherty Photo provided by Ringling College
Sculptor Patrick Dougherty creates monumental sculptures made of trees, twigs, vines, and other natural materials. He was in Sarasota for SMOA's 2013 “ARTmuse” program, January 7-26, 2013 and created a site-specific installation on the grounds of the historic Sarasota High School.

Click below to read the Sarasota Herald Tribune article:

Hello SHS Alumni! 

Fourteen years ago our historic old building ceased its operation as a high school.  Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA and Ringling College of Art & Design are planning to transform it into an exciting visual arts destination. 

I graduated in 1978 and am passionate about a fund raising effort to name SMOA’s Auditorium in honor of SHS alumni.  We spent meaningful and important years there so we must join together to honor our memories or this incredible opportunity will be lost. The most visible portion of this new arts destination should have our name on it – The SHS Alumni Auditorium

We need to raise $2.5 million for this opportunity. If we look at this through startled eyes we will see a gargantuan undertaking. Let’s look at it in terms of school pride. We all have our own special memories of this building and hate the idea of it being torn down. With a multitude of donations from a majority of graduates, we will reach this objective!  The first step is to get the word out so that all alumni can be a part of history. 

My sincere thanks go out to Richard Thielen (class of ’58) and Cope Garrett (class of ’51) for joining me to get us off to a magnificent start. We have raised just under $400,000 already so we’re on our way! 

Over the last year a talented group of volunteers have worked hard to set the foundation for this effort. Here is what we have accomplished: 

  • Website – Take a trip down memory lane. While you are here, sign our guestbook and share your S.O.B. story.  You’ll have to visit the SOB Stories page to see what that stands for…
  • Gatherings – With the assistance of Michael Klauber (class of ’73 and namesake of Michael’s On East) we have had some initial gatherings at his fabulous wine bar. We are planning several more in the upcoming season in Sarasota.
  • Tours – Several classes, during their reunion celebrations, have featured tours of the building, including a discussion of the plans for SMOA. If you have an upcoming reunion let me know!
  • Committee – Many thanks to Liz Beahm ’70, Steve Adler ’68, Jerry Jordan ’78, Michael Hartenstine ’70, Richard Thielen ’58 for their work to accomplish this foundation.

Share my passion about the SHS Alumni Auditorium – I would love to hear from you – tlkoski@yahoo.com.

Thanks for your time!

Tom Koski ‘78 – Chair of Alumni Auditorium Committee


SMOA welcomed the SHS Class of 1987 for a tour of the Old Building on September 22, 1912. If you would like to tour, please contact us!